Trattoria da Cesare al Casaletto [Rome, Monteverde]

On a recent trip to Rome, I went to Trattoria da Cesare al Casaletto for dinner on a Sunday. Cesare is out a bit far from the historical center of Rome. There’s a tram (#8) that stops very close by though (pretty much across the street). The restaurant is on the ground floor of an apartment building. They have an outdoor patio but it looked like it wasn’t open that night. I walked in without a reservation which was maybe a bit risky as they are apparently quite popular and they were nearly full when I got there. Luckily for me they had an open seat available.

Gnocchi fritti su crema di cacio e pepe (€4.50)
I started with their fried gnocchi. Crispy carb-y bites, sitting on top of a rich cacio e pepe sauce, which was more like a thick fondue like cheese sauce. This was delicious. I was recommended a quarter order, which was plenty. The full order must be huge.

Fiori di zucca con mozzarella e alici (€2.50)
Next, I had one of their fried zucchini flowers, stuffed with mozzarella and anchovy. It was nicely battered (a bit like tempura) and fried with an oozing center and some nice salty anchovy.

Totani (€12.50)
Then I had some more fried stuff. The totani, which is a flying squid, was perfectly fried, light on the batter and nicely salted. The squid was quite tender. It didn’t come with any dip other than some lemon to drizzle over, and didn’t need any.

Bombolotti alla gricia (€9)
Finally for a main I had more carbs - the bombolotti alla gricia. You can choose your type of pasta and the sauce. Gricia is like a cacio e pepe sauce with added guanciale, or a carbonara without the eggs. Very good very al dente bombolotti (which resemble short rigatoni) in a rich creamy peppery sauce. The guanciale did not quite reach the heights of the one from Roscioli I had a couple nights before but was quite good nonetheless.

Also had a 500ml carafe of their house wine, which at €4 is a deal. Was good to cut through the fat.

Really well executed food and also a pretty good deal. The total was under €39 with drinks, and I was completely stuffed with no room for dessert. Definitely recommend making the trek out to Cesare. Probably should make reservations though.

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Thanks! We didn´t make it last time we were in Rome, but it´s on our list for next summer. Those gnocchi are calling to me!

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